The adverse health effects of biological aerosols, other aerosols, and indoor microclimate on asthmatics and nonasthmatics

Michael D. Lebowitz, Mary Kay O'Rourke, Russell Dodge, Catharine J. Holberg, Gregory Corman, Robert W. Hoshaw, Jack L. Pinnas, Robert A. Barbee, Mark R. Sneller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Asthmatic and nonasthmatic families in a representative community population sample have been monitored over a 2-year period using daily diaries. Simultaneous micro-indoor and outdoor monitoring has been conducted in a representative sample of houses for air pollutants, pollen, fungi, algae, and climate. Macromonitoring of air pollutants and pollen was conducted simultaneously. The relationship of indoor to outdoor and micro to macro factors can be demonstrated. Acute symptoms were strongly related to age, weakly related to sex, and not related to smoking habits. The qualitative relationship of these micro and macro factors to symptoms in asthmatic and nonasthmatic families have been explored. Suspended particulate matter and pollen were related to symptoms in asthmatics and nonasthmatics. Fungi might be related to symptoms as well. The use of gas stoves is qualitatively related to symptoms. Algae and other contaminants of evaporative coolers do not appear to be important in producing symptoms. More complex statistical analyses are required to determine interactions of these factors. Distinction has to be drawn between infectious episodes, allergic episodes, nonallergic but similar episodes, and asthmatic attacks. This study demonstrates the need for further investigations in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-380
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironment International
Issue number1-6
Publication statusPublished - 1982


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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